McGahee hears talk, answers

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

46-yard TD marks running back's return to Buffalo

Ravens Gameday

October 22, 2007|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Reporter

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- He heard the boos from the fans from the moment he came out of the tunnel at Ralph Wilson Stadium. He heard the derisive chants later on. Willis McGahee silenced most of them, but in the end, it wasn't enough.

McGahee, playing for the first time here since forcing a trade to Baltimore after last season, had his most productive game as a Raven, rushing for a season-high 114 yards on 19 carries, including a 46-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

In the end, it didn't matter to McGahee, because the Ravens lost to the Buffalo Bills, 19-14.

Asked what the worst thing he heard from the fans was, McGahee said, "I really don't know. My focus was on the game. I don't pay attention to that stuff. I just listen to my teammates. I really didn't feed off the crowd."

The fans weren't the only ones saying nasty things to McGahee, who got off to a slow start in the first half when he gained a total of 1 yard on his first five carries and 40 on 11 attempts before halftime.

Some of his former teammates had some interesting things to say - for a while - according to McGahee.

"They pretty much stopped after I got that touchdown," said McGahee, who broke through the left side of the line, dodged Donte Whitner and stiff-armed George Wilson before diving into the end zone. "I wasn't really talking trash. I don't have anything against them."

Part of it might also have had to do with the way McGahee was feeling. Shortly after the touchdown run, McGahee was given fluids intravenously.

"I'm not sure what it was, but I felt really weak," McGahee said later.

Bills linebacker Angelo Crowell tried to bait his former teammate and roommate into a trash-talking contest, but McGahee didn't bite.

"Willis didn't want to do much talking today," said Crowell, who forced a fumble by Ravens tight end Quinn Sypniewski. "If anything it was like, `Good job, good job.'"

The touchdown run was the second-longest scoring run of McGahee's four-year career, the longest being a 57-yarder last year against the New York Jets.

The other homecoming

Unlike the attention paid to McGahee, Bills fans barely noticed Ravens defensive tackle Justin Bannan.

Bannan, who played the first four years of his career here before coming to Baltimore last season, made only his second start as a Raven. He finished with five tackles.

"Obviously I have some memories here," said Bannan, who missed last year's Buffalo game in Baltimore with an injury. "I've still got a couple of close friends on the team. I know Buffalo's a tough place to play. You can throw all the stats out the window when they're playing at home. I don't know what it is, but it is."

Ogden gets in

For the first time since spraining his foot in the season-opening loss at Cincinnati, perennial All-Pro right tackle Jonathan Ogden played for the Ravens. He came in early in the second quarter and got in for what he said was about 10 plays.

"It was OK," Ogden said of his foot as well as the hyperextended toe that kept him out of the preseason. "It was sore, but not terrible. [I was] happy to be out there. I was a little tired, but that's what happens when you don't play in six weeks. I didn't aggravate it again, so that's the good thing."

Tough day for Figurs

The roller coaster rookie season for kickoff and punt returner Yamon Figurs continued with more than a few bumps against the Bills.

Figurs, who came into the game among the league leaders in both categories, had one of his kickoff returns go right through his hands and luckily ricochet to teammate Mike Anderson. He also misplayed another kickoff return in the end zone and had only 5 yards on three punt returns.

While Ravens coach Brian Billick ran interference for the rookie from Kansas State by attributing it to the sun and wind, Figurs put his less-than-stellar performance on his own shoulders.

"It was just me," Figurs said. "It was me not focusing and trying to make a play."

Figurs had a 31-yard kickoff return but was later replaced on punt returns by veteran Ed Reed.

"Just a little more security back there," Billick said.

Injuries pile up

Center Mike Flynn was forced out for the second time in three weeks after reinjuring his right knee. ... Sypniewski, who stepped in to replace injured tight ends Todd Heap and Daniel Wilcox, suffered a possible concussion. He declined to talk after the game. "My head's still a little fuzzy," he said.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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